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For eighty-seven miles, the swift and shallow Blanco River winds through the Texas Hill Country. Its water is clear and green, darkened by frequent pools. Wes Ferguson and Jacob Botter have paddled, walked, and waded the Blanco. They have explored its history, people, wildlife, and the natural beauty that surprises everyone who experiences this river. Described as “the defining element in some of the Hill Country’s most beautiful scenery,” the Blanco flows both above and below ground, part of a network of rivers and aquifers that sustains the region’s wildlife and millions of humans alike. However, overpumping and prolonged drought have combined to weaken the Blanco’s flow and sustenance, and in 2000—for the first time in recorded history—the river’s most significant feeder spring, Jacob’s Well, briefly ceased to flow. It stopped again in 2008. Then, in the spring of 2015, a devastating flood killed twelve people and toppled the huge cypress trees along its banks, altering not just the look of the river, but the communities that had come to depend on its serene presence. River travelers Ferguson and Botter tell the remarkable story of this changeable river, confronting challenges and dangers as well as rare opportunities to see parts of the river few have seen. The authors also photographed and recorded the human response to the destruction of a beloved natural resource that has become yet another episode in the story of water in Texas. To learn more about The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, sponsors of this book's series, please click here.
From the canyons of Big Bend to the cypress swamps of Pine Island Bayou, the waters of Texas have something for most every type of paddler and every paddling mood. One might float the diminutive Comal River, argued to be the shortest river in the world. Another might dig deep and follow the four-day, 260-mile route of the Texas Water Safari, which Canoe & Kayak Magazine referred to as “The World’s Toughest Canoe Race.” Whitewater is here too. Lakes are as well. And, the Texas Gulf Coast is home to sandy beaches, knobby mangroves, and sea grass flats. Meanwhile, Texas is home to some of the fastest growing cities in America. And, paddling is the fastest growing outdoor sport in the country. “Paddling Texas” is a guide for those who are new to either and all those who love both. Featured trips offer easy access, secure environments, good facilities, great fishing, superb wildlife viewing, and beautiful scenery. “Paddling Texas” gives recreational paddlers and anglers all the information they’ll need to paddle many of the best trips in Texas.
The San Marcos springs have flowed for around ten million years. In this ode to the river they form, Jim Kimmel brings us a picture of a watercourse brimming with life, past and present. Native, non-native, prehistoric, and modern-day plants, animals, and people have inhabited the river and its banks. Kimmel touches on them all with the affectionate and knowledgeable voice of one whose own life has been closely linked to the San Marcos. As readers journey with Kimmel from the river's headwater springs to its junction with the Guadalupe River, The San Marcos: A River's Story will capture the imagination and provide valuable information about the river and its crucial role in the ecological health of Texas. Original photographs by Jerry Touchstone Kimmel add a sense of the beauty and complexity of the river.
A collection of historical anecdotes, personal accounts, and graphic pictures of floods from around Texas, beginning with the Austin dam break of 1900 and ending with the 2002 flooding in the hill country, captures the history of flash floods in the state, as well as the causes of the disasters and their costs in material damage and human lives.